University hosts first Festival of History
Press release issued: 24 February 2012
This Spring, the University of Bristol’s Department of History is hosting a series of free public events looking at the past and the ways we understand it – from the birth of modern sexual culture to the moral dilemmas of life in Soviet Leningrad.
Past Matters, the University’s first Festival of History, will transport you around the globe with eighteenth century adventurer Elizabeth Marsh, through the ‘forgotten lands’ of former East Prussia, and into the magical realist world of Jamaican prophetess Adamine Bustamante.
Professor Robert Bickers, one of the Festival’s organisers, said: “In the age of the internet and social networking, our attention can seem relentlessly focused on the here and now. But history matters as much as ever, nowhere more so than in a city such as Bristol, shaped by centuries of trade and migration. We are delighted to be working with innovative venues in the heart of the city – Hamilton House, M-Shed and Watershed – to host a series of events that explore how history is read, written and made.”
Meet the Authors – Saturday 17 March at 2 pm, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3QY
Four leading historians and historical novelists come together to discuss how and why they write about history. An initial panel discussion will explore the differences between history and historical fiction, the importance of research, and the personal stories behind the books. This will be followed by four smaller ‘book group’ sessions, where you can discuss the book of your choice with its author. Confirmed authors are Helen Dunmore (The Betrayal), Linda Colley (The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh), Max Egremont (Forgotten Land: Journeys Among The Ghosts of East Prussia), and Kei Miller (The Last Warner Woman).
Admission free but booking required in advance by visiting: Meet the authors registration
Spreading the Word: Writing Constitutions and Making Empire – Monday 19 March at 6 pm, Watershed, 1 Canon's Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX
The gradual world-wide spread of written constitutions after 1787 is conventionally linked with the rise of the nation state and with the growing allure of democracy. But, from the outset, these documents were also often instruments of empire and of international power and influence. Linda Colley, Professor of History at Princeton University, discusses the reasons for this and the continuing global repercussions.
Admission free, but booking required in advance by visiting: Spreading the Word registration. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.
The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution – Thursday 22 March at 6 pm; M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RN
Dr Faramerz Dabhoiwala, Senior Fellow in History at Exeter College, University of Oxford, will give the First Annual Penguin History Lecture, a joint venture with Penguin Press to bring the very best historians to a Bristol audience. Dr Dabhoiwala’s exciting new book, The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, explains how and why the Enlightenment ushered in a modern culture of sex whose principles of privacy, equality, and freedom of the individual remain distinctive to this day.
Admission free, but booking required in advance by visiting: The Origins of Sex registration. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.